As a nation, we are grappling to solve the ISIS CRISIS. It brings to question if we will want to use extensive manpower on the ground to defeat the enemy. Some of us are determined that to conquer the savage ISIS beast we need an all-encompassing effort with no holds barred and no constraints. Others, also well meaning citizens, feel that our superior air power can blow ISIS to total submission and have them run to the hills to disband their dastardly deeds.

There is also a legion of Americans who are as tired as our war weary troops of rushing into another mid-east war, especially with no articulated plan to guarantee a lasting peace among those religious, warring factions.

American libertarians, such as philosopher Ayn Rand, opposed conscription: “It negates man’s fundamental right – the right to life – and establishes the fundamental principle of statism: that a man’s life belongs to the state, and the state may claim it by compelling him to sacrifice it in battle.”

Conversely, others argue it is a privilege of every citizen to participate in the defense of their country; it’s a national service of instilling maturity in young adults, which also reinforces social equality, creates social consciousness, breaks down class divisions, and is an opportunity for young adults to immerse themselves in public enterprise.

From my personal experience during and after World War II, I can account that my exposure and working with brothers and sisters of every religion and color helped open my eyes and a new found understanding of what it means to be an American.

This does not negate the many arguments for and against conscription. Countries around the world have opted various and differing propositions for compulsory enlistment of their people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Some countries have no armed forces; no enforced conscription and may have future plans to abolish compulsion. Most of the nations with compulsory service have accommodations to comply with various exceptions based on conscientious objections to military service such as religious or philosophical grounds, political and ideological objections, essential civilian work and minimum and maximum age requirements. Deferments can also be based on sex, questioned allegiance to their home country and any special needs. Compromises exist allowing deferment for military service by substituting mandatory alternative non-combat service duties.

America employed peacetime draft legislation in 1940 prior to World War ll which could serve as a precedent should we decide the need for increasing our trained military strength during the current ISIS engagement. Massed military enlistment can establish the fact that we are committed to win this war against a misguided force of evil and monstrous measures of crimes against humanity.

Personally, I have admired the conscription program adopted by Israel, a small democratic nation surrounded by enemies that are sworn to wipe that Jewish state from existence. Conscription exists in Israel for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18, although non-Druze Arab citizens of Israel are exempt along with other exceptions made on religious, physical or psychological grounds. Compulsory service is currently three years for men and two years for women. Only about 50 percent of potential conscripts actually serve while the others do not based on a variety of reasons including religious study, minority community exemptions, refusal to serve, low motivation and a criminal record.

Our crisis with ISIS makes you THINK about our troops and the possible need to conscript additional able backups.

Wherever in the world those who bear the greater responsibility for the commission of crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious violations of humanitarian law – it is the US Military that answers the call! We owe them all our eternal thanks for their service to mankind. I invite you to join me in this debate and share your opinion of our country’s current crisis.

Earl Littman